So here's how this works. Each Monday, the Yahoo fantasy crew jumps on a conference call to discuss the week that was/will be. As part of this process, we've decided to include a short mock draft - roughly, one-eighth the size of a normal draft, I shall call it mini mock. This week's mini mock draft (two rounds) is for players currently owned in 25 percent, or fewer, of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues. I'll get the party started ...
Round 1 Pick 1 — Dayan Viciedo, CWS, OF (Brandon Funston)
Funston says – He's pushing a top 150 fantasy value, thus far, and he's not even really contributing much with his best tool - power. Yes, his .330 batting average is going to come down, but he's striking out less often and walking more often than ever before. And the 20-30 HR power should eventually kick in and help offset a regression in his BA.
Round 1 Pick 2 — James Loney, TB, 1B (Brad Evans)
Noise says – Sure, his eligible position is overloaded with muscular producers, but he’s a solid BA and RBI contributor who should finish in range of .295-12-75-55. That’s a useful CI in 12-team mixers and deeper.
Round 1 Pick 3 — Oscar Taveras, STL, OF (Dalton Del Don)
3D says – Finally back healthy, the 22-year-old is off to a nice start with a .301/.357/.495 line and five homers over 103 at bats in Triple-A. The Cardinals have surprisingly struggled on offense this season, ranking 26th in runs scored, so the team can't afford to wait much longer to bring up their top prospect. Taveras has more upside than any other player currently less than 25% owned.
Round 1 Pick 4 — Roenis Elias, SEA, SP (Scott Pianowski)
Pianowman says – The control needs to get better, sure, but after last week's dazzling 10-strikeout game in New York, I'm in love. And given that Elias is throwing a first strike 67.4 percent of the time, I can't imagine why the walk rate won't come down. More to adore: the 49.5 percent ground-ball clip, 31 strikeouts in 35 innings, and this week's reasonable schedule (at Oakland, home against Kansas City).
Round 1 Pick 5 — Chris Young, NYM, OF (Andy Behrens)
Behrens says – We all understand the flaws with Young — he's a strikeout-prone hitter with a .236 career average — but the recent numbers are hard to ignore. Young went 7-for-16 in the Colorado series with two doubles, two steals and five runs scored. His stretch of useful games actually began pre-Coors, in the final days of April. When he's at his best, he's a useful power/speed fantasy option.
Round 2 Pick 1 — Lorenzo Cain, KC, OF (Behrens)
Behrens says – Cain was just activated from the disabled list on Monday after missing three weeks with a slight malfunction of his groin. Prior to the injury, this dude was hitting .333 for the Royals and reaching base at a .364 clip. If Cain can remain healthy-ish for the remainder of the season (a stretch with this player, for sure), then he has a shot at a 20-steal season, perhaps with double-digit homers. I'm in.
Round 2 Pick 2 — Chris Heisey, CIN, OF (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – There are curious trends all over his career path - Heisey was a power guy back in 2011 (18 homers, .487 slugging), while this year speed is the skill of interest (four steals in partial playing time; meanwhile, the pop is missing). Perhaps an everyday gig (and the piece of mind that comes with it) will catapult Heisey to mixed-league relevance; the Reds figure to play Heisey regularly while Jay Bruce rehabs his surgically repaired left knee. Take a stab at some category juice.
Round 2 Pick 3 — Trevor Bauer, CLE, SP (Del Don)
3D says – His velocity is up this year, and his control improved. The former top-3 pick currently sports a 1.10 ERA with 31 strikeouts over 32.2 innings in Triple-A and impressed during his one start with Cleveland. With Carlos Carrasco geting demoted to the bullpen, Bauer should get a chance with the Indians soon.
Round 2 Pick 4 — Drew Hutchison, Tor, SP (Evans)
Noise says – The division is unfavorable, but a guy with a 3.80 K/BB is hard to ignore. His 3.24 xFIP is also very, very encouraging.
Round 2 Pick 5 — Dellin Betances, NYY, RP (Funston)
Funston says – With 28 strikeouts (in just 15-plus IP), Betances leads all relievers in strikeouts. He's got a nasty power fastball and slider, and it looks like he'll be one of those rare relievers to top 100 Ks while delivering solid ratios. I also considered recent Toronto callup Marcus Stroman and Arizona rookie shortstop Chris Owings for this last pick.